Increasing its presence in a region some are beginning to refer to a “Silicon Valley – East,” Germany-based auto supplier Bosch this week opened an expanded technical center in Pittsburgh, PA, doubling the size of its longstanding technical facility at another site in the city that has become a hotbed of autonomous-vehicle and robotics development.
The 51,000 sq-ft facility, which eventually will house 170 personnel, is located in Pittsburgh’s historic Strip District and is near Carnegie Mellon University, Bosch’s research partner for more than 25 years. Also nearby is ride-hailing giant Uber’s Advanced Technology Center, central hub for a fleet of autonomous-driving Ford Fusions the company recently placed in service around the city.
At the opening ceremony for the new facility, Bosch officials said the facility will become part of an “innovation framework” between several of the company’s technical business units and departments and research institutions in Pittsburgh.
“Pittsburgh has become a city of innovation,” said Mike Mansuetti, president of Robert Bosch LLC, during the inauguration ceremony. Where people of the previous century migrated to the city to ply physical labor in factories and steel mills, now “People are coming to Pittsburgh to use their minds,” Mansuetti said.
Bosch’s new Research and Technology Center will facilitate collaboration between its personnel and technical subsidiaries acquired by the company, chief among them, the company said, the Akustica Inc. unit that specializes in microelectromechanical (MEMS) sensor-based microphone technology. The company said 75% of the world's cellphones employ a Bosch-developed MEMS sensor.
“It’s easy to see why Pittsburgh ranks as one of Forbes’ smartest cities in the country,” Mansuetti added in a release. “The city has consistently proven to be a great partner for Bosch, through our collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University—the Carnegie Bosch Institute—and also through our talented associates in the area. Bosch is investing here because we see Pittsburgh as having a bright future.”
Bosch, began operations in the United States in 1906 and first established its Research and Technology Center in Pittsburgh in 1999. The company now has more than 100 facilities in North America and had revenue of more than $78 billion in the region in 2015.